Bali’s plan for welcoming international tourists shelved until next year

Published on : Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Countries like China are preparing to let in foreign travelers after months of empty international airport terminals. Indonesia itself was set to join the club next week, showcasing Bali as its most heavenly resort!

Airlines and international tour operators were looking forward to resume trips, but especially, the estimated 60% to 80% of Bali locals relying on tourism for a living were counting down the days.

However, then the country’s corona virus numbers went up.

Bali has reported nearly 5,710 of Indonesia’s 185,000 total corona virus cases since March. The island has been shut down for foreigners since April, but it started allowing local Indonesian visitors last month. Soon after, the case numbers spiked. Now, the much-awaited plan for Bali for luring foreign tourists has been shelved until at least January.

The central government allocated fiscal support of almost 4.4% of GDP, which will widen Indonesia’s more than 6% budget deficit, said Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati at a press conference in June.

However, there may be little assistance for sectors like airlines. The major flyers to Bali’s Denpasar International Airport are Emirates, Qatar Airways and KLM.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) and American Airlines Group (AAL) are the main U.S. carriers offering routes to Bali, although via codeshare partners. A Delta representative said, “We are simply waiting and complying with local regulations (at destinations).”

For Bali, the corona virus pain started months ago, even before cases appeared there. Chinese tourists are among the biggest group of travelers to Indonesia.

For Bali locals, the “economic impact of the pandemic is enormous, principally in terms of massive unemployment.”

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